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Do I have to go to a economic mediation? IS the first 2 hours of mediation free? What if you don't have the money to pay for it?

Eatontown, NJ |

The Court Order 2-27-12 ordered the parties to see an economic mediator. The mediator charge $350 per hour and the parties need to split the cost. One party has ability to pay and refused to spend the money then he filed a motion and the court day is 3-13-12. I am the other party who can not afford to pay. Do I have to see the economic mediator? If I don't, what will happen? Is there a way to avoid see one? Can the court order the other party to pay for all cost knowing that he has ability to pay?

My x filed a motion before to change of circumstances because he is retiring on 1-28-12. He does not want to pay $400 weekly alimony and his pension. That is why the judge sent us to economic mediation. My X make $145,000.00 a year and I lives on Alimony. After we got the court order 2-27-12, my X file a motion again that he want to discontinue alimony but pension only. Not knowing the amount of pension that I am getting, my X just want to give $400 weekly as pension only. The court only allows 45days to complete the mediation starting from 2-27-12. I guess I have to request for different split for the mediation on 3-13-12. We are both pro se. What is esp and mesp? What is the different? Can I find my own mediator - reasonable fee.

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Attorney answers 3


Yes, the Court Rules make economic mediation mandatory, unless the parties have an active restraining order. The first two hours are provided by the mediator at no charge. The mediator uses the first hour to prepare for the mediation session and review the parties' papers. The second hour is for the mediation session with the parties and their attorneys, if applicable. There is no requirement to continue with mediation session beyond the first hour. Absent a large disparity in income between the parties, it is common for the order to require the parties to share the mediator's fees equally. Additional information concerning economic mediation is available on the NJ court website.

This response is not to be construed as legal advice and is provided for educational purposes only. This response does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response provides general legal information and education. This response does not address any specifics concerning this inquiry, as the inquiry as written may have omitted details which would make the reply unsuitable. The inquirer is strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney in his or her own state to acquire more information about this issue. Licensed to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


Post-ESP economic mediation is mandatory. That doesn't mean it has to be split 50 / 50. If that's not the proportion of incomes and there's no access to assets to pay it, you can certainly ask the court for a different split.

IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER AND APPRECIATE THE TIME IT TOOK TO WRITE IT, PLEASE SELECT IT AS "BEST ANSWER." Thanks. The above is said without seeing your case file and without my understanding the entirety of the facts of your case. Depending on those facts, the above information be may incomplete or may be completely inaccurate. The above is intended as general information only based on what you described and not as legal advice. I advise you to consult with counsel who may be able to provide better information commensurate with a better understanding of your situation.


What type of motion did the other party file? If there is a motion hearing, you should ask that the order of 2/27/12 be modified to include a provision ordering each party to pay according to their ability and provide proof as to your position.

Failure to attend mandatory post-MESP economic mediation can have serious consequences. You should consult with an attorney about your case since it appears that you have such important issues at stake.

Good luck,

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